By Lee Yun Ning (17A01E), Quartermaster; Kim Seon Young, Sophia (17S03P), Secretary; Ethan Cheong (17S03H), Vice-chairman; Su Ying (17A01B), Chairman
A steady beat on a bass drum, intertwined with the groove of a throbbing bass line. A meaty strike on the guitars, complemented by a warm tone on the synths. A gritty melody splitting through the soundscape, and, above all, the soaring spirits of the band undergirding the fire in the music.
And this, is exactly what we do here in Raffles Rock. Guided by our love for music, we are a community of musicians committed to the creation of music.
Contrary to our moniker, the musical endeavours of Raffles Rock are not limited to good ole Rock ‘n’ Roll! In fact, our members dabble in a wide range of music, from youthful pop-punk such as the likes of My Chemical Romance (R.I.P.), to dulcet indie music such as Bon Iver, to the eclectic and frankly undecipherable math rock (google it, we swear it’s not what it looks like). Oh, and some of us might occasionally listen to ethnic music (cough, Kpop & Jpop, cough). At the end of the day, music transcends categorisation — what’s more important in Rock is an open mind towards music and a commitment to the craft.
Each batch consists of around 10-12 members who are split into two separate bands. Although members mostly work within their bands, there are chances for inter-band jamming sessions and performances. The camaraderie between every batch is strong, fostered through the many shared memories in the two years spent together.
A typical CCA session starts at 4.30pm on a Tuesday, where our members take refuge from the daily grind of schoolwork and retreat to the nicely air-conditioned (and soundproofed!) jamming studios. We start playing our instruments — be it improvising, rehearsing or just jamming to random songs we like.
We are also mentored by our instructor, Mr Ian Toh. Founder of the Thunder Rock Music School, our instructor is full-time musician, part-time life coach, sometimes cosplayer. Having experience in the local music scene in Singapore, he often provides us with valuable insights and teachings on how to improve our skills and become better musicians, both individually and as a band.
Beyond CCA sessions, we also get to hone our showmanship (and head-banging skills) through gig opportunities throughout the year. Most notably, our annual concert, Rock Out, held at the *SCAPE Ground Theatre, allows our bands to showcase their collective efforts in front of an ardent audience. Other gigs are more ad-hoc in nature, including YFC charity concerts and performances at cafes.
So, how does one get into Rock? Well, it’s pretty simple – there will be an audition which requires you to play your instrument in front of a panel of Rock members, our instructor and our teacher-in-charge, Mrs Teo. Don’t worry, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds! Whilst musical experience is a plus, we are ultimately looking for individuals who are willing to work with others towards furthering their craft.
We will be holding open jam sessions during JIP and JAEIP where you can come by the jamming studio and see what a typical CCA session is like, as well as clarify any queries you might have with our members. If you have that dream of becoming a rockstar and performing in front of a crowd of adoring fans, then feel free to drop by and join us. Even if you don’t, just come anyway– we guarantee you’ll have a blast with us.